Origin: Orkney Islands (Scozia)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing barrels: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Added coloring: No
Owner: The Edrington Group
Average price: € 78.00
Official website: www.highlandparkwhisky.com
In Norse mythology, the Valkyries, usually represented on winged steeds, were female creatures in the service of Odin, who decided the life or death of those who fought in battle. After choosing the fallen, they accompanied a part of them to Valhalla, the afterlife presided over by Odin, and another part to Fòlkvangr, ruled by Freyja, the goddess of love, beauty, death, fertility and magic. Waiting for the final battle of Ragnarock, when every warrior will be lined up right by Odin’s side.
Always keen to celebrate Viking culture, Highland Park inaugurated its ‘Viking Legends’ series in 2017 with a whisky called Valkyrie, which was followed by Valknut in 2018 and Valfather in 2019. The packaging was handled by Danish designer and ‘Viking soul’ Jim Lyngvild, who has been tasked with completely redefining the look of Highland Park’s spirits in recent years.
Valkyrie is to all intents and purposes a NAS (i.e. it does not have an official ageing declaration) and comes from a mix, not specified in detail, of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks.
Proposed at 45.9% ABV in its natural colour, like all the distillery’s whiskies, it’s easily available online (less so in physical shops).
The colour is a full gold, the body tends to be light.
As we approach the glass to the nose, we are greeted by a truly enchanting citrus fragrance. The light peat, which is the hallmark of Highland Park, can be perceived in the background only after a few moments, accompanied by a lively hint of brown sugar, a tropical fruit salad of pineapple and mango, a puff of vanilla and a curious caress of hay.
A hint of ginger prickles the nostrils and is also noticeable on the palate, where the peat becomes more intense. The citrus fragrance and tropical aromas here lose a little tone, but remain clearly perceptible, in perfect coherence with the nose. Over time, the flavour profile does not show any substantial development.
The finish is of medium length with notes of light peat and citrus.
The tropical accents are quite surprising, and more reminiscent of the Caribbean than of the cold, windy Orkney Islands. In any case, Highland Park has managed to create another unconventional whisky whose masterful balance seems designed to satisfy even the most discerning drinkers.
Reviews of Highland Park whisky in the blog:
Highland Park 12yo (1980s)
Highland Park 12yo Viking Honour
Highland Park 18yo
Highland Park Cask Strenght Release N°1
Highland Park Full Volume
Highland Park Voyage of the Raven
SMWS Nectar In a Hip Flask
The Whiskey Jug